Dan Miller knows firsthand what it feels like to be both the favorite and the underdog in a fight. Miller is the underdog going into Saturday night’s UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans against Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping. In 2008 Miller might have been the favorite.
Bringing seven first-round victories and two middle-weight titles into his UFC debut in 2008, all eyes were on the fighter. Miller did not disappoint, winning his first three fights, two by submission and one by decision. His star had reached its pinnacle going into UFC 98: Evans vs Machida.
On a night that saw Rashad Evans lose the UFC Light Heavyweight belt to Lyoto Machida, Miller lost to Chael Sonnen via unanimous decision. Sonnen was an 11th hour replacement for Yushin Okami and was not expected to give Miller much of a fight. Instead it went the distance.
Another disappointing loss for Miller came at UFC 109 against Demian Maia. That led to the changing of opinion regarding Miller as a top prospect. He remembers that fateful night, and doesn’t look to blame anyone but himself.
“I could blame the loss on my eight-month layoff, but it wouldn’t be true,” says Miller. “The fact is that Maia is a tough dude who adjusted well and beat me. Same with Chael – he dominated me. I think I can keep a positive attitude because I realize that losses are going to happen.”
Miller looks as if he is on the down-slope of his career, but he contends that he is far from done. Fight fans should not be so quick to write off the extremely motivated fighter. The American has been begging matchmaker Joe Silva to keep scheduling him against tough fighters.
“I’ll always be looking for the big fights,” he says. “I never want to take a break or a step down when it comes to opponents. You should always want to fight a guy where, if you beat him, it’s a big deal.”
He will have a chance to prove himself May 29 against Michael Bisping. The England native was the winner of the fourth season of the reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter. Bisping’s only losses have come against legends Dan Henderson, Waderlei Silva, and main card fighter Rashad Evans. Two of those three fights went the distance.
Bisping is looking to improve upon his recent form. He is 1-2 in his last three fights, and looking to rebound from his unanimous decision loss against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110.
MMA Sportsbooks have slated Dan Miller as the underdog is his bout with Michael Bisping. Miller’s line is +155, and Bisping is the favorite at -190.